Thursday March 26th, 2015

Fortune released its 50 greatest leaders in the world list for 2015, and four individuals with basketball ties made the list.

Former NBA All-Star Yao Ming is listed at No. 26, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James is No. 31, Princeton women's basketball coach Courtney Banghart is No. 43 and NBA commissioner Adam Silver comes in at No. 47.

Apple CEO Tim Cook topped the list.

Ming was an eight-time All-Star with the Houston Rockets before retiring in 2011. He is now an animal rights activist, speaking out about China’s illegal ivory trade and the hunting of sharks for shark-fin soup.

James is a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and has won two championships with the Miami Heat.

He returned to Cleveland this season after four years with the Heat. He is third in the league in scoring this year with 25.8 points per game. 

Former Heat star Alonzo Mourning discusses LeBron's departure

Banghart led Princeton's women's basketball team to a 31-0 record this season before Tigers were beaten in the second round of the NCAA tournament by Maryland. Banghart has led Princeton to five Ivy League championships in her eight seasons as head coach. The Tigers never made the NCAA tournament before her arrival at the school.

Since taking over the NBA in February 2014, Silver has steered the league through the Donald Sterling scandal and helped the league negotiate a record television rights deal with ESPN and Turner Sports, worth $2.66 billion per year starting in the 2016-17 season. Fortune praised him for being “energetic and creative.”

WOLFF: Story of Spurs guard Patty Mills goes beyond basketball

- Scooby Axson

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